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Peterson Goodwyn

Peterson Goodwyn portrait

Peterson Goodwyn (1745 – February 21, 1818) was a soldier, politician and planter from Virginia.


Born at "Martins" near Petersburg, Virginia, Goodwyn was educated by private teachers as a child and went on to complete his preparatory studies. He became a planter, studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1776, commencing practice in Petersburg and surrounding areas.

During the Revolutionary War, Goodwyn equipped his own company of Virginia militia and rose through the ranks from captain to major and was promoted to colonel for gallantry at the Battles of Smithfield and Great Bridge.

After the war, he was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates from 1789 to 1802. Goodwyn was elected a Democratic-Republican to the United States House of Representatives in 1802, serving from 1803 to his death on February 21, 1818 at his estate "Sweden" in Dinwiddie County, Virginia. He was interred in the family cemetery on the estate. Goodwyn also has a cenotaph at Congressional Cemetery in Washington, D.C..

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United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Philip R. Thompson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 18th congressional district

March 4, 1803 – March 4, 1813 (obsolete district)
Succeeded by
Thomas Gholson, Jr.
Preceded by
Edwin Gray
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 19th congressional district

March 4, 1813 – February 21, 1818 (obsolete district)
Succeeded by
John Pegram

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